The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

Measuring the Effectiveness of Educational Technology: what are we Attempting to Measure?  pp273-280

Jodie Jenkinson

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Special ICEL 2009 Issue, Editor: Florin Salajan and Avi Hyman, pp191 - 316

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Abstract

In many academic areas, students' success depends upon their ability to envision and manipulate complex multidimensional information spaces. Fields in which students struggle with mastering these types of representations include (but are by no means limited to) mathematics, science, medicine, and engineering. There has been some educational research examining the impact of incorporating multiple media modalities into curriculum specific to these disciplines. For example, both Richard Mayer (multimedia learning) and John Sweller (cognitive load) have contributed greatly to establishing theories describing the basic mechanisms of learning in a multimedia environment. However when we attempt to apply these theories to the evaluation of e‑ learning in a more dynamic "real world" context the information processing model that forms the basis of this research fails to capture the complex interactions that occur between the learner and the knowledge object. It is not surprising that studies examining the effectiveness of e‑learning technology, particularly in the area of basic science, have reported mixed results. In part this may be due to the quality of the stimuli being assessed. This may also be explained by the context in which interactivity is being utilized and the model that is used to evaluate its effectiveness. Educational researchers have begun to identify a need for more fine‑grained research studies that capture the subtleties of learners' interactions with dynamic and interactive learning objects. In undergraduate medical and life science education, interactive technology has been integrated into the curriculum at many levels. This paper reviews experimental studies drawn from personal experience where an attempt has been made to measure the efficacy of educational technology. In examining the shortcomings of these more traditional experiments, we can then apply this understanding to characterizing a more flexible approach to evaluation and its potential in measuring the effectiveness of educational technology. Understanding the nature of technology‑mediated learning interactions and the way in which they foster depth of understanding is a great challenge for both educational researchers and developers of e‑learning technologies. By adopting an evaluative framework that takes a more flexible approach to measuring the emergent nature of understanding, we can examine the capacity of educational technology to support more complex understanding of curricular subject matter.

 

Keywords: science, e-learning, educational technology, evaluation, multimedia

 

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Journal Article

An African Research Agenda for Computers in Education  pp14-28

Johannes Cronje

© Feb 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1, ICEL2013, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 125

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Abstract

Abstract: This article presents an overview of research into computers and education undertaken at a the University of Pretoria since 1995. It seeks to explore the patterns that have emerged and to indicate potential directions for future research. In re sponse to a call for research in the field to be taken seriously the article identifies the main themes that have been researched over fifteen years.The analysis shows that the main themes addressed are Didactic/Pedagogical Issues and Teaching/Learning S trategiesŽ and Architectures for Educational Technology SystemsŽ. Finally the paper recommends the development of a taxonomy of terms to be used in the classification of research on e‑Learning.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Didactics, Pedagogy, Teaching/Learning Strategies, Architectures for Educational Technology Systems

 

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Journal Article

A Roadmap to Cope with Common Problems in E‑Learning Research Designs  pp336-349

Javier Sarsa, Tomás Escudero

© Dec 2016 Volume 14 Issue 5, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp291 - 349

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Abstract

Abstract: E‑learning research is plenty of difficulties, as also research in education is. Usually, the high number of features involved in e‑learning processes complicates and masks the identification and isolation of the factors which cause the expected benefits, when they exist. At the same time, a bunch of threats are ready to weaken the validity of the research, for example, disregard of previous research, use of small samples, absence of randomization in the assignment to groups, ineffective designs, lack of objectivity in the measuring process, poor descriptions of the research in publications (which implies few possibilities of replication), wrong statistical procedures, inappropriate inference of results, etc. All of these obstacles accumulate and are carried along the whole research, resulting in low quality studies or irrelevant ones. This theoretical paper suggests a roadmap in order to face the most common problems in e‑learning research. The roadmap informs about some cautions which must be considered at each stage of the research and recommendations to increase the validity and reproducibility of results. The roadmap and conclusions included in this paper have been obtained from our experience in educational and e‑learning research, also from our long path as reviewers in key journals of these fields, and from readings of significant research handbooks. This is not a strict guide but a set of milestones on which it is necessary to stop and reflect.

 

Keywords: Keywords: e-Learning research, educational technology, research designs, e-learning effectiveness, methodology, validity.

 

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Journal Article

Distinguishing the Field of Educational Technology  pp171-178

Laura Czerniewicz

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 3, Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

Drawing on what researchers and professionals in the field internationally report, this paper reviews educational technology as an emergent field. The review reveals the continuum of perspectives on what the field is, and how it is bounded or fragmented. The paper describes the field from two perspectives: the professional and scholarly and considers how the forms of knowledge differ and overlap in each domain. It posits some dichotomies which may frame the field such as science social science and positivist post‑modernist. Finally the paper provides conceptual frameworks for distinguishing fields from each other and suggests what the categorisation of the field might mean, especially considering its emergent status in a rapidly changing context.

 

Keywords: Educational technology, e-Learning, profession, discipline, field, knowledge

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 14 Issue 5 / Dec 2016  pp291‑349

Editor: Robert Ramberg

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Editorial

Guest Editors


Ramberg Robert Robert Ramberg earned his PhD in cognitive psychology at the department of psychology, Stockholm University and holds a position as professor at the department of computer‑ and systems sciences, Stockholm University (Technology enhanced learning and collaboration). Ramberg also holds a position as research director at the Swedish air force simulation center (FLSC), Swedish Defense Research Agency. Broadly conceptualized, his research focuses the design and evaluation of representations and representational artefacts to support learning, training and collaboration. Of particular interest to his research are socio‑cultural perspectives on learning and cognition, pedagogy and how these theories must be adapted when designing and evaluating technology enhanced learning and training environments. And more specifically how artifacts of various kinds (information technology and other tools) mediate human action, collaboration and learning. 

 

Keywords: Higher Education, Action Research, Digital Competencies, Mixed methods research, Technology enhanced learning, Staff development, HEIs , Technology acceptance, Power, Culture, Foucault, Ofsted, Autonetnography, ANG, Autoethnography, Meta-ethnography, eLearning, Networked learning, Reflexivity, eResearch methodology, Online learner and teacher scholarship, Online professional development, e-Learning research, Educational technology, Research designs, e-Learning effectiveness, Methodology, Validity

 

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